Convincing your boss to bring on a team of people is no easy task. You want your boss to think you’re capable, that you’re the one-person army you promised when they hired you. However, if you’ve been handed the task of managing the software assets of your company’s entire software architecture, then you may have quickly discovered that you can’t, in fact, do it all. There’s no shame in that, especially if such a large job has been prioritized as little more than a side project to be put on top of all your other work, we’re only humans, after all. We get tired, burned-out and even the hardest working among us can’t take on the gigantic task of enterprise-level software asset management alone. So how do you convince your boss to expand and bring on a team?

At MetrixData 360, we have been in the software asset management game for many years now and we have seen the consequences of companies not having a proper SAM solution in place only to have a software audit hitting them like a shovel to the face.

In this article, we’ll break down how you can get your leadership to invest in software asset management, so the task doesn’t fall solely on your shoulders.

Convincing Your Boss a Software Asset Management Expert is Best

Software Asset Management is a relatively new industry, with few people understanding what it is and even less understanding the need to invest in it. So, if you want the help you require, you’ll need to convince your boss of  the value of bringing on software asset management expertise.

Let’s look at the various skills that are required for one person to successfully maintain their company’s software asset management strategy:

  • Legal Expertise: Licenses, contracts, and how to read between the fine print are all necessary skills when you’re breaking down software contracts.
  • Vendor Expertise: Technology is constantly evolving, and your software vendors are constantly making changes to their product line and the licensing associated with it. Vendors can make changes that will affect your licensing hundreds of times a year. Keeping pace with the changes of even one vendor is considered an accomplishment.
  • Negotiating Expertise: Knowing how to handle contract negotiations, contract renewals and software audit negotiations will be an important element of a SAM expert. There’s no point in discovering these saving opportunities if they can’t talk the software vendor into making your contracts reflect those savings.
  • Technical Expertise: It helps if you actually know how the software you’re dealing with works and how it interacts with the rest of your software architecture.

As you have probably figured out from this robust list, being an expert in any of these fields would be a full-time profession. The main appeal of seeking external SAM expertise is that you will instantly have a team of experts from the second they walk through the door.

Providing Options to Expanding Your SAM Team

It’s important that you don’t frame your proposal to your superiors as a win-lose/yes-no scenario, try to present options to your boss. When confronted with the situation of needing more manpower for your company’s software asset management goals, you have a few options at your disposal.

Hiring a Full-Time, In-House Team

Building an internal team is both costly to initiate and upkeep over the long term. You may also have trouble finding someone to fill the positions you need, you don’t have the time to train a new college grad and the seasoned veterans in the software asset management community know that they’re in high demand.

Hire External Experts

Hiring an expert offers the greatest long-term value with a reasonably smaller upfront cost since they offer a wide team of experts from the second they walk through the door and their specialization can be hand-tailored to your time frame and challenge.

While there is the issue of becoming dependent on the SAM experts’ services, MetrixData 360 counters such issues by offering training wherever possible to our customers.

Hybrid Solution

Some organizations may only need assistance in specific areas. Perhaps you already have a SAM tool installed and merely need someone to manage it or your company excels at day-to-day SAM but needs assistance in an audit. Either way, there are many SAM solutions to pick from that can accommodate your unique case.

Have a Clear Goal for Your Company’s SAM Journey

As you may have already discovered, Software Asset Management can prove to be completely overwhelming. The sheer amount of raw data your discovery tool can drag in is enough to discourage and confuse anyone whose brain isn’t built with a motherboard.
A fully optimized SAM solution also isn’t gained just with the mere installation of a discovery tool, although that is an important element to it. There are five stages of SAM maturity:

Chaotic:

Exactly what it sounds like. There’s no visibility into your software environment, it’s anyone’s guess how many licenses you use or need. When an audit comes, there’s a lot of scrambling and confusion, with only the auditor’s findings to go on — even though the chances are that you aren’t as far out of compliance as they say. The goal at this stage should just be to gain visibility.

Reactive:

At this stage, you have probably had a SAM tool installed and have some level of visibility, although software audits are still a matter of damage control and you still suffer from compliance issues. Now that you have visibility, your goal at this stage is to gain compliance.

Compliance Plus:

You’ve reached compliance, you have visibility into your software environment and problems found there are corrected before they are confronted in a software audit. From this stage your next goal is to start searching for saving opportunities.

Optimization:

At this stage you’ve reached peak optimization, you’ve made use of all the saving opportunities you’ve found. Now the next step is to solidify your efforts and to make sure the SAM processes you set in place outlast you by making them a part of your company’s regular procedures.

Amplified Value:

You’ve now achieved the ideal software environment. You have proper visibility and can handle a software audit like it is nothing. Your software environment is as efficient as possible, and you are only purchasing what you need. Best of all, the change will now be permanent for the betterment of your company in years to come.

Now, it’s important to understand that climbing up the SAM maturity ladder takes time and it may not be necessary for your company to reach the peak of SAM maturity. Assess where you want to go and where your company is heading and present your boss with a strategy to reach that goal.

Timing Your Request

Timing is everything. This is just a general rule, try not to come to your boss with your list of suggested SAM solutions when they are upset or frustrated, it might not bode well.
Take note of any of the more pressing issues that you are dealing with when it comes to your company’s software environment and frame your argument accordingly. If your company for instance, is dealing with an unpleasant software audit, then focus on more immediate and short-term SAM solutions as opposed to anything long-term. You’ll need to make a good impression.

Related: Need to convince your team about the value of Software Asset Management? Check out our article:
Promoting Software Asset Management to Your Team.

Getting a Handle on Your Software Assets

With so many organizations new to the idea of SAM, a lot of them are still writing the rules on what that process should be like and how many people should be given the task. If you find yourself overworked and burnt out because you’re trying to run your organization’s SAM with a penny’s budget and a scant team (if you have a team at all), then you’ve come to the right place.

At MetrixData 360, we pride ourselves in being both educators (so you can learn and improve your skill after an engagement with us) and SAM experts whose whole process from start to finish involves saving you money. Given our wealth of SAM experience getting our clients to the point where they are compliant while also cutting down unnecessary costs, we can create an estimate of the potential savings and Return on Investments of SAM Solutions. If you’d like to learn more about the kinds of solutions MetrixData 360 offers and which one would be best for your organization, you can contact our director of client success and you can expect a response in less than 24 hours.

About Mike Austin

Mike AustinMike Austin is the CEO and team lead here at MetrixData 360. Mike brings more than 15 years of Microsoft licensing experience to his clients’ projects. He assists companies with negotiations of Microsoft Enterprise Agreements (EA), Premier Support Contracts, and Select Agreements, from Fortune 500 to organizations with as few as 500 employees. Mike's vast experience across multiple industries including financial services, high tech, manufacturing, media, health care, government, and retail give him an edge in any business environment. In addition to helping negotiate contracts, he assists clients with creating and implementing software asset management processes to prevent over-purchasing of licenses and ensures terms and conditions reflect actual usage.